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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The Political Cost of AIDS in Africa: Evidence from Six Countries
Title Malawi
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 54-96
URL http://www.idasa.org/media/uploads/outputs/files/gapmalawi.pdf
Abstract
The Malawi study focused on the potential impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on electoral governance, with special attention to the potential impact on: the voters’ roll, the management of the electoral process, electoral administration and management, the country’s electoral system, political parties, and the financial and human cost. It is believed that, with increased HIV/AIDS incidence, Malawi will need more resources to spend on by-elections because of the increased number of deaths occurring at leadership levels. Thus, the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system that Malawi uses is expensive and inappropriate. Also, with the increased prevalence of HIV/AIDS and the related deaths, the voters’ roll will, if not regularly updated, become ever more bloated with “ghost voters”. Malawi, therefore, needs an efficient and effective electoral administration and management system for dealing with the potential
risk to electoral governance. At the moment, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), which is the electoral management body, heavily relies on civil servants, teachers and other public workers to serve as election officers and monitors. The commission lacks its own field staff for the administration and management of the electoral process. As will be shown later, some studies in the country have shown the negative impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on this group of people.1 In the event of this group being heavily affected by HIV/AIDS, the electoral administration and management system of the country will lose top professionals from among its ranks, those in possession of much-needed skills and expertise. The skills and knowledge relating to the conduct of elections will be lost.

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